Learning to Leave It Behind

Learning to Leave It Behind
Image provided by
Chris Amelung @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/amelungc/

About three weeks ago, I published a post about four boys I had babysat as a teenager, Courtney’s Boys. At the time I had written this piece, I had no idea how it would affect me emotionally. You see, I had felt close to those boys and their parents back then. In my mind’s eye, they were extended family. They moved to another state shortly after my son was born, and because of circumstances at the time, all contact with them was lost. I filed their memory someplace in the back room of my mind.

As I wrote the article about this time in my life, I was nostalgic but composed. It was just another part of the memoirs I’m writing in this blog.

By the time I had clicked ‘Publish’, I got this brainy idea to try to find this family. I hadn’t tried for many years, more like decades in fact. With all the helps that the Internet has to offer, I thought I may have some luck this time. And I did. I was able to find the oldest boy, Chip, who now has a family of his own. Through Chip, I found the other members of his family.

All the excitement surrounding this discovery started to help me find that lost pieces of myself that had been missing for a long. The only trouble was that I didn’t know what to do with this feeling that was seeping into all of my daily activities. Should I be trying to get us all together again? Or should I just sit a little low and play it by ear? Or should I deem this the end of a chapter in my book of life?

It seems that humans have troubles knowing and even learning what to leave in their past. Often the person feels that it is impossible to let his/her past stay in the past, and will run through it time and time again. In doing this, he/she ends up spinning his/her wheels and not getting anyplace. I have done this a few times myself. What’s so frustrating is that if I’d just sever my ties with incidents from long ago, moving forward in my life would probably be so much easier.

On the other hand, sometimes a person has to discover something from his/her past before he/she can make those steps in the right direction in his/her future. I think the trick is to not dwell too long on that discovery, and instead, use it as a beacon to help move forward.

Where does this take me in answering those questions in the third paragraph of this post? (Is this clear to everyone?)

If I try to get all of us together, I think it would feel staged. I don’t think it would feel like ‘the real McCoy’. Sitting low makes me feel that I’m waiting for the past to catch up with me. Then again, it is a comfortable middle ground as long as I keep my head on straight about this. What I’m inclined to do is to end this chapter in my life. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I never have contact with Courtney’s family again. It means, instead, that our relationships with each other have changed and we can explore and learn about each other again.

Yes, I like that last one best of all. It’s time to start building on these new friendships.

Do you have trouble leaving the past behind?


9 thoughts on “Learning to Leave It Behind

  1. Do I have trouble leaving the past behind? Ha ha. As you know from my blog about growing up during the 50s and 60s, all I do is write about the past. And I keep in touch with the major players in my life, all the way back to Dean Road. They can try to run, but they can’t hide. Luckily, I do choose to let most negative memories slide away and hang onto the fun.


    1. I can leave the past behind mostly. However my curious nature wants to make all puzzles fit together and the internet today makes that possible, I like to sneak a look at those from my past but for most I’m happy to leave it at that. I think when you lose contact it’s for a reason just as people are in your life for a reason.but a sneaky peek thru curtains is fun. So, do you think you will organise a meet up?


      1. Glynis Jolly

        I haven’t planned anything like a meet up. Chances are all contact will fizzle out because, as you said, loss of contact usually happens for a reason. I will be sending out my Christmas greeting cards soon and I will be sending one to each of the boys as well as the parents. I will do the same next year too. If they don’t reply in so way next year, that will be where it ends. As I look at these words, they seem rather harsh but I learned long ago that holding on to something that really can’t be is futile. At this point, I’m just trying to determine if this can be workable.

        (Yes, I will be writing about the progress of this adventure.)


    2. Glynis Jolly

      As I told April, the act of writing these memories down in this blog is helping me rid myself of unnecessary baggage. Of course, people like my brother, parents, grandparents, and even a few of the friends will always be remembered. I do have a few nasty memories that haunt me. As I feel comfortable sharing them, they will be appearing here as well.


    1. Glynis Jolly

      I seem to have the opposite problem. I hold on so tight to the good memories that they get distorted. As I get closer to the senior years of my life, I’m finding it a little easier to let go. I think this writing of my past in this blog is being a big help.


  2. I’ve written about this several times on my blog Gynnis, as I live in the now yet remember and write about the past. I have discovered that by writing in this way and sharing these stories with others here I’ve been able to make more sense of things.

    Also, as you have discovered, although it is good to remember the past there does come a point where you can ‘move on’ by accepting that things are different now, as with the family you babysat for, but also still being glad for the good memories. This was your history after all!!

    I found my half brother after 32 years through the internet. He was a little boy of 6 when I last saw him back in the the late 70s. We met a couple of years ago and we don’t keep in regular touch but only now and then. However, it’s great to have had many questions answered, on both our parts, and that we know we are both ‘there’ for each other. I was just so glad to know that he was/is ok. It was an amazing reunion, quite surreal.


    1. Glynis Jolly

      I expect my contact with Courtney’s family will probably be the same. As we both agree, time changes things, and that’s alright. 😉


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